Vatican Under Fire for Tapping ‘Anti-Semitic’ Priest to Become Saint

The Vatican is under fire from several Jewish groups for its move to recognize a Polish priest as a saint despite his record of anti-Semitic remarks. Cardinal August Hlond, a Polish priest recognized for his “heroic virtues” in a decree issued by Pope Francis, was the Catholic Church’s highest-ranking official in Poland from 1926 until his death in 1948. But Jewish groups say Hlond took an “extremely negative approach toward the Jewish community” that should not be ignored as the pontiff moves closer to granting him sainthood. In one letter cited by critics, Hlond reportedly described Jews as “the vanguard of godlessness, Bolshevism and subversion.” Hlond has also been criticized for failing to condemn the mob killings of 40 Jews in 1946, with one expert claiming he’d actually said the pogrom was their fault at the time.